Recipe blog posts

Three ingredient chocolate truffles

Sometimes the sweetest things are the simplest things. These chocolate date truffles only need three ingredients. I make these all the time. I think most of my friends have tried them, my clients all make them now with ease and there is always a stash of them in our fridge. They taste amazing, they are ready in 5 minutes and you can customize them in so many ways. The basic recipe needs only dates, raw cocoa and walnuts. By grinding down the walnuts and cocoa into a powder you can use the dates to bind them together. You are making the easiest energy ball in the world. It is packed with iron and healthy Omegas. Dates give you long lasting energy rather than a sugar spike making these a perfect pre training snack.

I like to add in fresh ginger to the walnuts and cocoa and simply blend it down with them. You could add in supplements that work for you such as spirulina, maca or lucuma. A tiny splash of espresso, orange zest or a pinch of cinnamon taste great too.

Day to day we eat them like this. Just the simple combination of three ingredients, but if I am making them as a gift or as a after dinner treat I dip them in melted raw chocolate and then roll them in flaked almonds, cocoa or cocoa nibs. They make a really lovely gift, piled into a jar and sealed with a ribbon.

12 walnut halves
4 medjool dates
2 tsp raw cocoa

Pulse the walnuts & the cocoa in a food processor until you have a fine crumb
Add in the dates & pulse until a sticky dough forms
Roll the dough into balls & either place in the fridge or dip in melted raw chocolate first and roll in toppings of your choice

To make the raw chocolate all you need to do is melt 50g cocoa butter with 3tbsp raw cocoa

YNBO – Fig and cardamon braided vegan loaf

Last nights Great British Bake Off saw the bakers tackle bread. They started with chocolate studded loaves, battled with ‘Dampf knodel’ (steamed dumplings), before finally tackling braided breads. I considered making dampf knodel as they are pretty popular in this household. Alex normally gets them whenever we head to the Stadtfest in Oldenburg or the Christmas markets. They are a total meal as you get a huge dumpling which is filled with hot cherries and then bathed in custard. Totally delicious.

The thing is though, that I felt that I had to tackle the plaited or braided loaf. I am not a very technical baker or cook. I rarely attempt anything that requires exact measurements or that needs you to follow specific guidelines. The only bread I tend to make is soda bread and honestly yeast scares me a little. So, in true bake off spirit I decided to do an 8 strand plaited loaf which would be studded with figs and spiced with cardamon. You could use this recipe as the base for so many breads. You could do cinnamon and raisins buns, muesli studded plaited wreath or a kale pesto braided tear and share.

It is actually really easy to do, and whilst I held my breath every time I checked to see if it had risen, it seems to be a failsafe. I made the dough when the little one got up as she played with wooden spoons, left it in the spare bathroom with the towel rail on a low heat, and came back to it two hours later. I replaced the egg wash with a blend of maple syrup and almond milk but if you are making a savory loaf then I’m sure just the milk would work too.

The house smells amazing still, and half the loaf is already gone as Alex is home an has been sitting chomping away, slathering it in local honey. There is officially nothing greater than home baked bread and now I know how to do it, there may be no stopping me…

600g strong bread flour (I used a mix of white and spelt)

12g salt

12g instant yeast

35g softened coconut butter (or normal butter)

400ml warmish water

1 tsp almond milk

1 tsp maple syrup

Optional – 3 finely chopped figs, 1 tbsp cardamon

Place the flour into a large bowl, add the butter in chunks

Place the salt on one side of the flour and the yeast on the other (you don’t want them to touch)

Add 300ml of the water and stir with a clawed hand to combine

Bring all the ingredients together well adding more water slowly if you need it

Tip onto a very lightly floured surface and knead well for 10 mins

Place into a large oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and place in a warm spot for up to 2 hours or until it has doubled in size

Remove and knock down, then split it into 8 even portions. If you are adding in items now is the time to do it. Simply add in fruit/chocolate/nuts into each portion

Roll each portion into a long sausage

Place all the sausages in a row and then join the top ones together (so it looks like an octopus with a top and 8 spread out legs)

Plait the loaf – if you are unsure of how to do it then it is best to google it and follow a video but basically

You take leg 8 over leg 5

2 under 3 and over 8

1 over 4

7 under 6 and over 1 and then repeat till you reach the bottom

Place the dough onto a lined tray and cover loosely and place back into a warm spot for 30mins

Preheat your oven to 210C (fan oven)

Wash the bread with the maple syrup and milk wash

Bake for 30mins or until it sounds hollow when the bottom is tapped

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Sugar sugar baby – a guide to sugar alternatives

It doesn’t seem that long ago that the options when it came to sugar were white or brown. Maybe there was a packet of muscavado sugar languishing at the back of your mums cupboard for when the Christmas cake needed baking, and obviously there was the little clickers of splenda that someone had in their coffee because they ‘were trying to be good’.

Sugar is a natural substance that is derived from sugar cane. It is separated from the molasses and then washed and filtered. This process creates white sugar. Brown sugar is made by adding some of the molasses back into the white sugar. Raw sugar is the white sugar before it has been washed and filtered. Sugar gets a bad rep because excess amount of it confuse the body. It causes our blood sugar to spike as well as causing changes in our insulin response. It causes an acidic reaction in the body which is often blamed for many inflammatory illnesses.

Now sugar alternatives are everywhere and it is super confusing as to which ones are a healthy alternative but also how to substitute them in baking or cooking. I thought I would write a little guide to help us all out & keep checking back as I will keep on adding to it as I encounter and test out more alternatives. This is part 1…


The original healthy alternative honey has a huge diversity in flavor allowing you to alter the end taste of recipes. When untreated it contains natural anti bacterial properties (which is why you can put it on a cut) as well as some B Vitamins and antioxidants. It is still high in sucrose though and will cause some blood sugar spike. This is my favorite go to raw honey with a mild taste which is perfect on porridge or in tea.

Best for: puddings, ice creams, gelato and in smoothies or tea. Can be used in very soft cakes & to top porridge, yoghurt etc

Cons: can’t be used where you need to cream ingredients as it doesn’t create the pockets of air that you need to create a rise so not great in traditional cakes like sponges.


Made from the sap of maple trees (it is the trees natural anti freeze) it is suitable for plant based diets and is rich in calcium, iron and zinc (although raw honey contains more). You can get crystalized maple syrup too. Like honey it can’t be used in recipes that need you to cream ingredients. We love this 100% maple syrup on buckwheat pancakes with coconut butter.

Best for: caramels, sweets, puddings and gelato or on top of porridge or pancakes

Cons: can’t be used for creaming. Watch out that it is pure maple syrup as it can be mixed with artificial ingredients and fillers.


Extracted from dates using a heating and pressing process it is natural product. Dates are known to cause less of a sugar spike thanks to their naturally low GI levels. As with any syrup you can’t use it where you need to cream but it is great in caramels with its rich taste. It is naturally high in iron and a good source of vitamins. You can easily make it yourself too. This stuff is addictive, amazing for sweetening yoghurt, making granola and eating off the spoon.

Best for: puddings, caramels,flapjacks, oat bars, soft cakes as well as a topping for porridge etc

Cons: it has a distinctive taste and can leave cakes very sticky


Made from coconut blossoms (rather than coconuts), this sugar has a lower GI, contains some fibre and is softer than normal sugar. You can substitute it 1:1 in baking recipes that use traditional sugar. This one is the one I tend to use in baking and to top plant based creme caramels.

Best in: bakes that require a dryer texture. As it is a softer sugar you won’t get as much air which leads to a naturally denser bake.

Cons: can be very expensive and as it is not as sweet you often end up using more.

Once hailed as the golden alternative to sugar, this syrup has fallen from its spot lately. The harvesting of it causes damage to the environment as agave is a natural bat food. Less agave means less bats which means less pollination. It is naturally twenty times sweeter than sugar so you use less. It has a lower GI than sugar but contains high levels of fructose. This agave has a mild taste and is great when making granolas

Best in: smoothies, caramels, deserts

Cons: Can lead to sticky bakes so make sure to grease or line your tins/pans, also needs to be combined with fat to stop it separating


Once hailed as the golden alternative to sugar, this syrup has fallen from its spot lately. The harvesting of it causes damage to the environment as agave is a natural bat food. Less agave means less bats which means less pollination. It is naturally twenty times sweeter than sugar so you use less. It has a lower GI than sugar but contains high levels of fructose. This agave has a mild taste and is great when making granolas

Best in: smoothies, caramels, deserts

Cons: Can lead to sticky bakes so make sure to grease or line your tins/pans, also needs to be combined with fat to stop it separating


Molasses is the left over product when white sugar has been evaporated from sugar cane. Blackstrap molasses has very high levels of iron and B vitamins. It is often used by breastfeeding women to boost their iron levels and milk supply. It is naturally acidic which means that when combined with baking soda, you get very light airy cakes. I used these molasses in ginger muffins and lactation cookies just after I had the little one and it was delicious.

Best in: gingerbread, granolas and savory dishes

Cons: has an intense taste and will overwhelm other flavours


Fruit is natures sugar and puree apple and grated fruit can easily sweeten a cake or granola. You can also get fruit syrups which can be used in the same way as date syrup or honey. They taste amazing and often have more vitamins. This one is my absolute favorite and I always stock up when i see it. Spices like cinnamon and vanilla can top porridge and yoghurts. Seasonal fruit tastes sweeter and roasting fruit caramelizes its natural sugars for extra sweetness. It’s really important to remember that sugar is sugar, even if it comes in the form of honey or from coconut blossom. Each alternative has its benefits but non of them can really be considered a health food. As with all things, eat them in moderation and be mindful.

Matcha marzipan chocolate cups

It is my 32nd birthday today and I hate to quote my parents, but seriously where have the years gone? What’s funny is that I can’t remember all my birthdays, can you? I remember turning 6 as it was our first year in Norway, I got a kidney infection the day before and I also got a Polly Pocket, which was top of the secret wish list. I also remember 17 as it was the first time we were allowed to have a house party at a friends. I got so ‘merry’ that I was home and in bed by 9pm. 21 was fun and my first grown up birthday, spent in Troy bar in Shoreditch. 30 we spent paddle boarding in LA. 31 was the last one just the two (plus nanuk) of us, we were impatiently waiting the arrival of the little one, and I ordered very spicy thai green curry for lunch in a bid to try and get her to hurry up.

This year is my first birthday as a mama. There were no lie ins or long runs. There was a 5am start and a lot of snuggles. Somehow today doesn’t feel as important, it has somewhat paled, especially as all I can think about it the upcoming first birthday of the kid. Still, its nice to have a few treats. I have been showered in gifts, had beautiful walks in the sun, have a bottle of something bubbly in the fridge for later and I made these little chocolate cups. Alex loves marzipan and I love making it. It is so easy, just ground almonds, a splash of rose water and a drizzle of maple syrup.

I use maple syrup as it has the lightest taste and allows the almonds to shine. This time I added in matcha, for its colour, for its caffeine and for its beautiful earthy flavor. You could mix these up and make some filled with almond butter, sunflower butter, chia jam or anything else that takes your fancy. Mini muffin tins (the silicon ones) make a perfect ‘two bite size’ for a sweet moment on a sweet day.

Ingredients (makes 12 mini cups)
130g 90% chocolate

0.5 tsp matcha powder

1 tbsp maple syrup

6 tbsp ground almonds

0.5tsp rose water

Place half the chocolate into a bowl over a bain marie and melt

Pour into mini muffin molds up to 1/3 of the way up

Place into the fridge until set

Whilst the chocolate hardens, mix the almonds, syrup, rose water and matcha together

Place small spoonfuls of the marzipan into the centre of the chocolate bases and then flatten to almost the edge

Melt the remaining chocolate and pour over the marzipan

Place back into the fridge and allow to harden



Mama on a Monday – Breakfast cookies

I would like to impart on my daughter my love of breakfast. It is without a doubt my favorite meal of the day. I can easily go with dinner but breakfast makes me happy. It doesn’t have to be big, in fact a large well made coffee and a bowl of berries is perfection, but it does have to taste damn good. There are so many foods that just seem better at breakfast. Soft scrambled eggs, buckwheat pancakes, fruit. Not to mention porridge, bircher and smoothies. The mini one is coming round to the idea of eating in the morning but she is also busy right now, so very very busy. She has just started to stand up and is trying to stand without holding on right now. Every surface needs to be explored and every book shelf needs to be attempted. This means that breakfast for her needs to be quick and for my piece of mind it needs to be nutritionally dense. Every mouthful needs to count.

These breakfast cookies are delicious. I enjoyed one, warm out the oven, baby on one hip, coffee out of short arms reach. They are hearty and naturally sweet. They taste of cinnamon and raisins but with the earthiness of oats.

Oats are a great breakfast food, they are easy to digest but they don’t raise the blood sugar and provide slow release energy. Cinnamon is naturally sweet which means you can use less sweetener and it also has the added benefit of being a great antioxidant. It can be an allergen so make sure you test first. I made 12 cookies from this batch but you could make smaller ‘snack’ size version too.

Depending what your little one likes you could add in apricots or dried berries. If nuts are tolerated then you can substitute one cup of oats for 1 cup of ground almonds or fold in some chopped nuts. You could even add desiccated coconut or orange zest. Customize as you fancy but most of all enjoy.

Ingredients (makes 12 large cookies)
2.5 cups oats (plus 2 tbsp for rolling)

2 tbsp maple syrup/date syrup

1 large banana

1 tbsp apple puree

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp raisins

Preheat your oven to 170C

Place the banana, olive oil, apple puree & cinnamon into your food processor and blitz till pureed

Add in the oats and raisins and blitz unit you have a thick, sticky dough

Line a baking tray with baking paper

Place 2 tbsp of oats into a shallow dish

Using your hands shape spoonfuls of the dough into balls and roll in the oats

Place onto the lined baking tray

Bake for 30 mins flipping once